PARK FREE AND EASY
Carpark: Council vows to start work on spaces after Easter
WORKERS and shoppers in the Penrith central business district can breathe a sigh of relief: a new carpark has been promised by the council.
Penrith Council has confirmed the 115-space free all-day carpark will be built behind the Woodriff Gardens Tennis Centre. Work will begin after the Easter long weekend, with 159 spaces to be added later.
The announcement comes after Penrith State Liberal MP Stuart Ayres attacked the council in Parliament, accusing it of failing to deliver any new permanent parking for the community since the 1980s.
REAL CBD parking relief is in sight with Penrith Council confirming it will start work on a new permanent carpark after the Easter long weekend.
The new carpark, behind the Woodriff Gardens Tennis Centre, will immediately create 115 free all-day car spaces.
Wayne Mitchell, council’s executive manager for environment and city development, said a further 159 permanent parking spots would be delivered later in the year “further west” of this site.
“We need to do drainage before we can build that extension,” he said.
The announcement comes after the council was dealt a verbal blow by Penrith state Liberal MP Stuart Ayres over its perceived failure to deliver timely CBD parking.
In a private members statement on April 4, Mr Ayres told Parliament that while his government had delivered “consistently over the last six years” new car parking, the “only multistorey carpark” the council had built was in Judges Place in the 1980s.
He said Penrith Mayor John Thain and Councillor Karen McKeown were more focused on their “civil war” to be the Labor candidate for Penrith in the upcoming state election.
“You’ve got John Thain ... who’s got all the support of the locals,” Mr Ayres said.
“Then you’ve got Karen McKeown who’s got the strings attached of Sussex Street (Labor headquarters) telling her all the things that she needs to do.”
He said they need to put
their “little civil war away” and “actually start delivering for the community”.
The councillors say they are disappointed he decided to make this a personal attack.
“We have regular catchups with him, and he’s never brought this up in those meetings,” Mayor Thain said.
He said the council had previously announced plans to pay for and build a new decked 1000-space carpark on Union Rd with “council special rate variation” funds.
Wayne Mitchell, council’s executive manager for environment and city development, said the new Union Rd parking would be free for users.
Mr Mitchell said: “We’ve been building a lot of temporary parking on all available sites of the city for many years – on Reserve St, Station St, Soper Place.
“We’ve also been continuously reviewing our time restrictions, and linemarked to create additional spaces.”
Penrith Council should listen to the chamber. A lack of parking is thwarting business
MP Stuart Ayres with Rosalie Pollett from Polly’s Beads and Gordon Henwood and (inset) the Penrith Commuter Carpark upgrade.